The purpose of sleep is not entirely clear. It has been suggested that it helps with memory consolidation and tissue repair. But there are many unanswered questions about what happens when we are asleep and how important it is to our lives overall. Sleep research is a vast and multifaceted field. Generally, home sleep studies investigate the following aspects of sleep: brain activity during sleep, the effects of medication on sleep, behavioural changes in asleep subjects, as well as possible connections between hormones and neurotransmitters with our body's 24-hour circadian rhythm. Read on to find out more!
What happens to the brain during sleep?
Sleep affects every aspect of our lives, from how we feel to how well we focus. But what happens as soon as we close our eyes? It's been shown that the brain does not completely turn off during sleep, but instead goes through a series of very complex changes. Studies show that some parts of the brain are active while others are at rest. It also becomes less responsive to help us rest and recharge for the next day ahead.
How does medication affect sleep?
A large number of medications have been shown to affect how we sleep, including antidepressants. This could be because some types of antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclics, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors suppress REM sleep. Patients have reported a variety of side effects including insomnia, vivid dreaming, decreased quality of sleep and many more. Home sleep studies may focus on people taking a particular medication.
What are some behavioural changes seen in sleepy subjects?
Sleep has a powerful effect on behaviour. Studies have shown that subjects who do not get enough sleep show less creativity and critical thinking skills in comparison with their fully rested counterparts. However, different people react differently to sleep deprivation. Some people are more prone to fatigue and drowsiness, while others may be able to carry on normally for longer periods. Test carried out during some home sleep studies help to investigate individual responses.
How do hormones and neurotransmitters affect sleep?
It's been found that stress and sleep patterns seem to be connected. The fact is that your body naturally has an internal clock that regulates your circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms, in turn, are regulated by certain hormones that play key roles in the functioning of your body. Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through our bodies every day that helps regulate how we behave and how the body functions so any changes to these areas could be a way lack of sleep manifests itself in your life. Home sleep studies often map changes in hormone levels to better understand the nature and function of sleep.
If you're ready to learn more, contact companies that can help you set up home sleep study tests.